The active ingredient remdesivir, which is also used to treat severe Covid-19 courses, is being examined more closely in Europe because of possible kidney complications. According to reports, a safety test procedure for the drug Veklury has been started, said the EU Medicines Agency (EMA). The preparation is based on remdesivir. In some patients, acute kidney problems are said to have occurred, said the authority with headquarters in Amsterdam. According to his personal physician Sean Conley, US President Donald Trump also takes Remdesivir. After his corona infection became known, Trump is currently in the Walter Reed military hospital near Washington – as a precaution, as the White House said. The president has only mild symptoms.
The drug has had conditional approval in the EU since July for the therapy of adults and adolescents who suffer from pneumonia as a result of a corona infection. Possible side effects should be further observed. In critically ill patients, the risks compared to the potential benefits of remdesivir were initially considered acceptable. The pharmaceutical industry originally developed the substance to fight the Ebola virus – but effects on the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen are also attributed to it.
The EMA had already classified Veklury’s possible toxicity in relation to the kidneys as an “important potential risk”. Increased surveillance is now under way to ensure the safety of the drug. Whether there is a direct connection between the reported kidney damage and the use of Veklury has not yet been clarified, the authority emphasized. Other factors such as diabetes or a direct effect of the new coronavirus on the function of the kidneys cannot be ruled out for the time being.
Until exact results are available, the recommendation to use the Remdesivir preparation for Covid therapy attempts is valid.